Wednesday, April 17th, 2013
Just a day after arriving home from a weeks long training trip in sunny Malaga I was packing up and getting ready for the 3 hour drive south to Combe Sydenham in Somerset for the first round of the 2013 British DH series.
Now based at my good friend Olie Burton’s house in Ludlow for the season it certainly makes the British series a lot easier! We headed off Friday lunchtime and arrived at the venue in time to walk the track.
The track was similar to last year and was in good condition on Friday; dry, grippy and lots of pedaling! Rain was forecasted for the weekend so we knew it wouldn’t last long, with Schwalbe Dirty Dan’s most likely being the tyre of choice come race day. I prepped the tear offs and mud guards that evening ready to battle the rain the next day!
As expected Saturday was extremely wet and the track got really torn up, making some sections really hard to ride. I got 4 practice runs in due to the slow uplifts and really wasn’t enjoying the track; I don’t think anyone was! I tried to make the best out of it and got ready for race day.
Sunday was race day and the weather was slightly better with a few sunny spells. Again due to the slow uplifts I only got 1 practice run in before seeding, which wasn’t ideal, but I was feeling better on track than Saturday. I got the bike washed with some Eat My Dirt bike cleaner for seeding and after a quick warm up headed up with the rest of the elites.
With this being my first race in Elite and the hugely stacked field, about 40 top riders, my goal for the weekend was a top 20. I put in a steady run in seeding trying to save my legs on the pedaling and placed 21st.
A few hours later and I was back on the uplift to battle out another run on the mess of a track! Hoping to shave off a few more seconds and get well into the top 20. I put in an OK run despite the conditions, just trying to stay clean and feet up on many sections. I still managed to take 4 seconds off my seeding time and ended up 22nd in the finals. Considering the conditions and how awful I felt on track I am pretty happy with my final position. I know how much better the up coming tracks will suit me so cant wait for the season to get into full swing!
Big thanks to Diego from Schwalbe UK for the pit and support all weekend and also Nigel Page for the loan of an easy up!